I was told recently that I am the most altruistic person my friend knows.
I had to laugh.
I am the MOST selfish person that I know. I am a die-hard Ayn Rand follower! I believe whole heartedly in taking care of myself first – and then using whatever is left to help anyone who deserves it.
Here’s the thing, when it’s done right – those two things are actually the same, because…
As Bill Maher says – “What you do with your kids affects ME.” ie; I will gladly pay for education, because having well educated, well-rounded, open-minded kids in this country benefits ME.
It’s worth giving ground at work because – when my co-workers are happy, they do their job better and make my life easier.
I make compromises at home because, when my husband is happy – I’m happy. When my children are happy, healthy, and “well-adjusted” – we ALL benefit.
It is actually in our own best interest to look after the people around us.
It’s cheaper for me to pay some extra taxes so that my poorer neighbors have health coverage than it is for me to pay outrageous insurance premiums to cover their emergency room visits.
It is better for me to drive a car with good gas mileage and invest in companies that are actually changing their policies to make the earth a little more habitable – even if it costs more – BECAUSE, if I don’t – I might not have an Earth to live on, and my kids won’t have an Earth, and grandkids, well – I might not even get them if we don’t change course. So… I’ll pay a little more now in order to be able to live later.
Really, it’s a lot like this Ted Talk –
Delayed gratification CAN improve our lives. Small acts of altruism, making sure the people around you are happy, healthy and taken care of CAN and WILL improve your own life.
So, today I challenge all of you – reach outside your bubble and make someone smile. I don’t care how bad your own day is going – get over it. Make someone else’s day better. I bet it’ll come back around faster than you imagine. Tell your story in the comments.